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Thinkific Review – Should You Use Thinkific for Your Teaching Platform?

How to Make Money Teaching Online Using Thinkific's Platform
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Thinkific Review
Thinkific Logo by I Love Making Money

Name: Thinkific

Description: Thinkific is a online course builder for teaching online. We use and recommend Thinkific for their drag and drop, very intuitive interface. They allow you to create three courses at no cost to you, and you can start selling your course without splitting revenue.

Offer price: $0

Author: Kit Elliott

Do You Recommend Thinkific?

Yes!  We recommend (and use) Thinkific for your online course platform.   Thinkific allows you to get started for free, and they have the best site design & intuitive user-friendly interface.  We compared it against 12 platforms and it shakes out at number one.

Overall
9.9/10
9.9/10
  • Easy to Use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Cost of Service - 10/10
    10/10
  • Customer Support - 10/10
    10/10
  • Variety of Features - 9.7/10
    9.7/10

Pros

  • View Students Progress
  • Company Training & Support
  • Very Well Laid Out
  • Overall Enjoyable Process
  • Affiliate Program for Paid

Cons

  • Market Your Own Products
  • Need More Drag & Drop
  • Limited Template Customization

Teaching Platforms

I created my first online course 15 years ago before done for you teaching platforms were created. The process of creating a course took 60 to 90 days of building everything from start to finish. Now, done for you teaching platforms like Thinkific allow you to create courses and market and manage students online.

It's one of the top ways to make extra money in the 2020's.

The top seven online teaching platforms are:

  • Thinkfiic
  • Teachable
  • Udemy
  • Ruzuku
  • Learn Worlds
  • Skill Share
  • Wiz IQ

Thinkific

After testing these teaching platforms, I have selected Thinkific as the best possible platform for 2020. I launched Unstoppable Affiliate using Thinkific. Unstoppable Affiliate is my on-demand course that teaches you how to make money with affiliate marketing. It’s on-demand because you learn & implement at the same time. That allows you to speed up the results.

Features of Thinkific Online Teaching Platform – LMS

Thinkific Pricing

Thinkific comes with four pricing plans, and you can always get started under their free plan & create three courses at no cost to you.

Free Plan

Thinkific's free plan allows to you create three courses, enroll unlimited students and even, create quizzes & surveys to get immediate feedback.

  • 3 Courses
  • Unlimited Students
  • Instant Access to Funds
  • Content Hosting
  • Quizzes & Surveys
  • Sales Page Themes

Price: Free

Basic Plan

  • Unlimited Courses
  • Unlimited Students
  • Instant Access to Funds
  • Content Hosting
  • Quizzes & Surveys
  • Sales Page Themes
  • Custom Domain URL
  • Email Integration & Drip Scheduled Content
  • Zapier Triggers
  • Manual Student Enrollment
  • Coupons

Price: $49 per month

Thinkific Pro

  • Unlimited Courses
  • Unlimited Students
  • Instant Access to Funds
  • Content Hosting
  • Quizzes & Surveys
  • Sales Page Themes
  • Custom Domain URL
  • Email Integration & Drip Scheduled Content
  • Zapier Triggers
  • Manual Student Enrollment
  • Coupons
  • Unlimited courses & students
  • 2 Site admin accounts
  • 5 Course admins/authors
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Advanced course pricing options 
  • Memberships and bundles 
  • Certificates
  • Advanced Customization 
  • Priority Support
  • Assignments

Price: $99 per month

Premier Pricing

  • Unlimited Courses
  • Unlimited Students
  • Instant Access to Funds
  • Content Hosting
  • Quizzes & Surveys
  • Sales Page Themes
  • Custom Domain URL
  • Email Integration & Drip Scheduled Content
  • Zapier Triggers
  • Manual Student Enrollment
  • Coupons
  • Unlimited courses & students
  • 2 Site admin accounts
  • 5 Course admins/authors
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Advanced course pricing options 
  • Memberships and bundles 
  • Certificates
  • Advanced Customization 
  • Priority Support
  • Assignments
  • PLUS 5 Site Admin Accounts
  • 15 Group Analysts
  • 50 Course Admins & Authors
  • Single Sign-On
  • Onboarding Package

Price: $499 per month

How to Get Started with Thinkific

This guide will cover the essentials only and then, we will link to Thinkific's more detailed training for each section.

Thinkific has powerful features that enable you to customize and fine-tune, but if you're in a hurry, save it for later. Click Here to Save the PDF File

Step 1: Visit Thinkific.com

Once you are on the website, as shown below, enter your email address then click on ‘GET STARTED FREE’.

Signup with Thinkific - Step by Step Instructions

Step 2: Create a Thinkific Account

You will be redirected to a registration form like the one shown below. Enter your details, name and email then choose a password and finally, click on ‘Create your account’.

Next, you will be redirected to a page, as shown below, where you will share about your teaching experience and the course. All you need to do is select an option that best describes you, your experience and your course.

Thinkific Setup Instructions for Online Courses

Once you answer a question, the next question will be displayed. As shown below. Just answer all the questions and then click on ‘start creating courses’.

Thinkific Security Questions

Step 3: Get Started with Thinkific

After the above step, you will be redirected to the next section as shown below. In this section, there is a quick video tour of Thinkific.

It's important that you love what you're teaching. The teachers who are not passionate about their topic are not as successful as those who are ready to master their craft. Are you ready to master your teaching craft?

This section will also allow you to add your course name, select a primary color as well as upload your logo. You can also preview your course player here.

Step by Step How to Get Started with Thinkific and Building an Online Course - This Graphic Outlines

Sign Up for a Thinkific Account

You can create your free account here – you'll need an account to follow along with this guide. Thinkific is free to get started with – no credit card required.

Thinkific paid plans unlock additional features as seen above in the Basic, Pro or Premiere plans. As your course attendance and revenue grow, I recommend upgrading to unlock additional features.


Create Your Online Course

Build Thinkific Course

After getting started, it is now time to build the course.

Everything you think about marketing and building a business is counter-intuitive to what is actually happening. I used to think that no competition was a good thing for breaking into markets, but I realize that HIGH COMPETITION means that people are buying.

How to Check Your Course Topic to Make Money

Make sure your course idea has a high market demand by conducting quick viable option tests. Do a quick search to see if you people are talking about it?

Use Google Trends to see if people have an interest in it. I chose “I Love Making Money” because that trend will never die and has a solid flat line of interest meaning that the interest has stayed exactly the same over a period of time, and since I have 8 different income streams, I love talking about making money strategies.

Making Money Trend

To start working on your course, click on the ‘START BUILDING’ button. This will direct you to click on ‘MANAGE LEARNING CONTENT’ which is in the sidebar menu as shown below.

Once you open the menu, click on ‘courses’. This will display all your courses as shown below. Thinkific allows you to build three courses for free.

To add a course, click on the ‘+ NEW COURSE’ button that is on the top right corner. Next, select a template  (preferably the blank template) as shown below:

After selecting a template, enter the course name as shown below:

And then click on ‘CREATE COURSE’. This will create the course and redirect you to the course page as shown below:

Quick Summary on How to Create Your Thinkific Course:

When you sign up for Thinkific, you'll land on the Admin Dashboard where you can access every aspect of your Thinkific course website. From here, you can get started on your course as follows:

  1. Go to Manage Learning Content
  2. Select Courses
  3. Select New Course
  4. Name your course – this can be changed later

For more detailed instructions, check out: Creating a Course

Add Teaching Lessons to Your Course

Thinkific courses are made up of Chapters which contain Lessons.

After creating a course, you'll begin editing it in the Course Builder. You can add lessons from the Curriculum tab or the Bulk Importer tab if you want to upload several files at once.

From the Curriculum tab:

  1. Select Add Chapter
  2. Name the Chapter & select Save
  3. In the new Chapter, select Add Lesson
  4. Choose a lesson type
  5. Name your new lesson
  6. Add your content (how will depend on which lesson you created)
  7. (Optional) Configure the Lesson Settings

Explore the different lesson types here: Thinkific Lesson Types

Online Course Building Tips

Marketing 101 – This is one skill I'm trying to master for the 2020's. Copywriting for Marketing. Everything about your course should transform your student from a beginning point of problem to the end point of problem solved.

You'll want to make sure each of your lessons details how your course will help them when they enroll in it.

  • What skills will they be able to demonstrate?
  • What is the outcome for the new student?
  • Is there new knowledge they will obtain?

These are the “learning outcomes” that become important selling factors when you gather your course content.

The Thinkific course page will allow you to upload your course content. To add a new chapter, click on ‘ADD CHAPTER‘ at the bottom left corner. It will allow you to add a chapter title and save the chapter as shown below:

Customize Your Course Player

The Course Player is where students view your lessons – the part of your site where they can watch videos, take quizzes, and more. You can customize this with your personal branding by adding a logo, changing the color and font.

From your Admin Dashboard:

  1. Go to Manage Learning Content
  2. Select Courses
  3. Select Player Settings
  4. Make your changes and Save to confirm them

You can learn more here: The Thinkific Course Player

Most Engaging and Effective Delivery for Course Curriculum

As you can see, Thinkific makes building an online course as easy as possible. You can then upload the course content depending on its type. To upload content, click on the lesson type.

I find that videos make for the most engaging and effective delivery. I like mixing videos with worksheets and adding a pop quiz after each module.

Types of Content Creators

There are two types of content creators: one who plans and creates all the media in advance, uploads it all at once. One who outlines and then makes the content as they go. I'm the latter. I like creating the outline and then, crafting each module with visual, quizzes and videos. Then, moving on to the next module in the lesson plan.

If you want to upload a video, click on ‘video’ and you will be able to select and upload the video file as shown below:

To upload a file, click on ‘SELECT FILE’ which will allow you to select a file from your computer and upload it. Finally, click on Save which is at the bottom right corner to save the uploaded lesson content.

If you have a lot of content that you need to upload, click on the ‘Bulk importer’ tab and it will allow you to select multiple files and upload as shown below:


Customize Your Online Course Sales Website

Now that you have created your course, you can get started on your website's core pages (sales pages, landing pages) Thinkific's Site Builder allows you to fully customize your course website's pages with images, branding and more!

This step is very important in ensuring your students have a great experience and your course has great aesthetics. On the top right corner, click on ‘Build Landing Page’. This will allow you to customize your online school and courses’ landing page.

For a quick set up, we'll take you through customizing the essentials: your course's landing page and website home page.

Customize Your Course's Landing Page

Each course has a landing page (i.e. sales page) created for it automatically. You can edit this page in Site Builder, which can be accessed from the Admin Dashboard or the Course Builder.

  1. Go to Design Your Site
  2. Select Site Builder
  3. In the Site Builder menu, select Courses to see your landing pages
  4. Select the page you want to edit (i.e. select your course's name)

When editing a course's landing page:

  1. Edit your Theme Settings to add a logo, brand colors, fonts, etc.
  2. Customize the Header for your course website
  3. Add the Banner section
  4. Create Free Graphics Using Canva
  5. Customize the Footer for your course website
  6. (Optional) Addreorder, or delete sections on the page

Check out Site Builder Sections for an overview of section types and learn more about setting up your landing page here: Build a Course Landing Page

Customize Your Course Website's Homepage

Home pages direct your website's visitors to the right place. They're useful if you plan to create and offer more than one online course.

First, decide if you're going to create more than one course.

If you do plan on creating multiple courses, then get started editing your home page in Site Builder:

  1. Go to Design Your Site
  2. Select Site Builder
  3. In the Site Builder menu, select Home page 

For an in-depth guide see: Build Your Home Page

Or, if you are creating only one course for now, we recommend using a home page redirect to send visitors from the home page to your course landing page instead. This way you don't need to spend time customizing your home page!

  1. Edit your Home page
  2. Select Redirect
  3. Choose Course page from the drop-down menu
  4. Choose a course's name from the list

Learn more here: Understanding Home Page Redirects

Customize Your Site Name and URL

Your site's name and Thinkific URL can be changed at any time, but it's best to set this up before launching to avoid confusing your students. You can change the site name and URL in the Settings page.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Under Site Details, you can edit the Site name field
  3. Save your new site name
  4. Under Site URL, click the ellipses ⋮ button and select Edit URL
  5. Edit the My Thinkific URL field
  6. Save your new URL

If you want to remove the ‘.thinkific.com' part of the URL, you can add a Custom Domain on any paid plan.


Publish Your Course

Great! You've set up all the essentials and are ready to add the final touches to publish your course and start sharing it with your audience.

How to Price Your Course

If your course is free, you don't need to do anything (this is the default setting). Skip to the next section.

If you want to sell your online course, you need to first integrate with a payment processor:

  1. Go to Market & Sell
  2. Select Integrations
  3. Under E-commerce, you can integrate with Stripe and/or PayPal
  4. Affiliates Can Market Your Course Under the Paid Plans Above

How to Set Your Price

After integrating with a payment processor, you can set a price for your course:

  1. Go to Manage Learning Content
  2. Select Courses
  3. Click on the course you want to edit
  4. Select the Pricing tab
  5. Select One-time paymentSubscription / Membership, or Payment Plan
  6. Enter a price and Save it

Congratulations on uploading your first Thinkific course! We now need to move on to pricing which is a very important step. To price your course, click on the pricing tab and you’ll be able to add pricing as shown below:

Thinkific Pricing for Your Course

When you are on a free plan as an instructor, you can only offer two pricing options which are either Free or One-time payment. To offer subscriptions, memberships and monthly plans, you may need to upgrade your plan.

The more you specialize in your topic, the higher price you can charge. For example, if you're a life coach who helps people lose weight or stop drinking, you can charge more for your specialization.

We'll talk about a specific marketing strategy that I recommend when launching your course.

Learn about the different price options here: Set Your Course Pricing

Customize your course image and description

Your course image and description will be used in link previews on social media, and in your checkout. It's like a tiny sales page for your course.

  1. Go to Manage Learning Content
  2. Select Courses
  3. Click on the course you want to edit
  4. Select the Settings tab
  5. Select Course image and description
  6. Upload an image for the card (760 pixels by 420 pixels)
  7. Write a description for the card (Max 250 characters)
  8. Save your course card

See this article for more details: Edit Your Course or Bundle Image & Description

How to Publish Your Course on Thinkific

Publishing a course makes it visible to visitors and allows students to enroll! Courses can be unpublished at any time, but this removes visibility to students as well.

To publish your course:

  1. Go to Manage Learning Content
  2. Select Courses
  3. Click on the course you want to edit
  4. Go to the Publish tab
  5. Under Course publish status, select Published
  6. Save to publish the course.

To learn more about publishing, check out: Publishing Your Course

After uploading the course content and pricing your course, then you can publish the course and students from all over the world can access it.

Troubleshooting Publishing Problems

First, make sure you have verified your email address. Second, if you are anticipating a large number of students to access the course after its launch, let Thinkific know beforehand. This will allow Thinkific to ensure your site is at optimal performance and can handle a high number of students.

To publish your course, just click on the ‘published’ option and click save as shown below.

You can then preview your course by clicking on the ‘Preview Course’ button that is on the top right corner. If you think anything needs to be changed at this point, you can always go back and make the changes as needed.

Share Your Course to Start Enrolling Students

You can send the published course to anyone by sharing the link to:

Thinkific Login and Page URLS

Nice work 🎉 you've launched your online course!

After publishing your course, now it's time to make money! Thinkific can be a great source of passive income. I recommend spending 80% of your time marketing and 20% of your time teaching.

Easy Marketing Strategy for Your Online Course

There are three ways that I've seen to successfully market your course. The concept is called “Move the Free Line”. You'll want to give out valuable content across every channel you can find. I recommend picking three main channels: TikTok, Facebook, YouTube.

Take a concept and teach it on TikTok or Facebook or YouTube. These teaching videos are small 1 minute videos that pack a punch. The idea is to grow your following by giving value that builds trust.

Remember, your course is closed using this strategy.

Then, when you open your course up for students, you will go to your new following on TikTok, YouTube and Facebook to let them know that the doors are open for ten days.

Then, close the doors & put up a waiting list. Use this list for the next launch and the next launch and the next launch…

And here's the retention part: each time you upload a new video, send an email out to your list. Over time, that will boost your views and subscribers which help boost your views and subscribers.

Get Feedback & Reviews

Finally, ask your students for feedback & reviews so you can become the best teacher for your craft. When people see the reviews and feedback, that will increase the number of signups. I'm excited to see what you create & come up with.

If you know anyone who is interested in making money teaching online, please share this guide with them. We depend on “word of mouth” marketing to grow our brand. Thank you.

One Response

  1. Luther July 17, 2020

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